Re: Sense of Humor Testing

Subject: Re: Sense of Humor Testing
From: "MacDonald, Alexander G. AP" <macdoag -at- HPD -dot- ABBOTT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 14:46:00 -0600

I was deeply offended by Mr. Dean's posting of the cheap Dr. Seuss
imitation. I have, of course, seen it before, so upon opening the note
and reading the first sentence of the lame, unfunny, insulting poem, I
clicked Delete faster than you could say "Ham". Mr. Dean could,
perhaps, be lightly chastised by the person who makes up the rules here.
But we forget who is really the cause of this horrendous incident...the
anonymous 'author' of the imitation. That is the person who we should
chastise, flame etc. Dr. Seuss, the pen name of Theodor Geisel, is
certainly on the short list of finest American poets in history. That
his primary audience was (is) children, we tend to discount the literary
merit of his output. He was educated at Dartmouth and Oxford, he won a
pulitzer prize, two academy awards and wrote over 40 books. He has sold
more children's books, in more languages, than anyone ever. He died in
1991 and I distinctly remember every eulogist in every newspaper and
magazine in the country mocking his style. I'm sure they meant to be
reverential, but can you imagine a eulogy in the style of Faulkner, T.S.
Eliot, or some other 'respected' writer? Ridiculous and insulting. The
writers are well meaning but they don't quite appreciate the slippery
beauty of Dr. Seuss' books. The imitators probably think it is
easy...rhyme a few words here....throw in some alliteration
simple. It is not like that at all. Compare your copy of 'The Cat in
the Hat'...I know you have one handy...with that imitation, or any of
the others that you can find on the 'net...the differences are
astounding. For example, 'The Cat in the Hat' uses only 220 different
words...'Green Eggs and Ham' has only 50. I could go on about the
beauty and even the complexity of his work...'Moral Authority in Dr.
Seuss', 'Literary Historicism in "And to Think That I Saw It on
Mulberrry Street''' or even 'Gender, Choice and Free Will: A
Post-Modern Reading of "Hop on Pop"' but I'll stop. Though I can only
assume that if Dr. Seuss had been a technical writer, his output would
be miles better than the sample posted by Mr. Dean.
Alex MacDonald

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